Glad you enjoyed yourself Unk. Rory Fitzpatrick sure has a lot of people voting for him.
Glad you enjoyed yourself Unk. Rory Fitzpatrick sure has a lot of people voting for him.
Not much support for new form-fitting jerseys.
NHL’s new unis? Among Sharks, uniform disapproval.
The size limit is 6'5" and 230 pounds?It has been awhile since the NHL did something really dumb. But don’t worry, the folks in the league office haven’t been laughing about the NBA’s fiasco with the new ball; no, they’ve been thinking about how they can erode another of their better traditions.
This won’t be a blunder along the lines of the glowing puck, but I don’t think it’s going to be good. Think of the most distinctive symbol of the NHL. The one thing that gives the league any cool points with the general public. The sweater.
It’s changing. Not for the better, either, according to at least three prominent Sharks I surveyed today after practice, where they wore new jerseys and socks under the watchful eye of the research and development team of manufacter CCM (a subsidiary of Reebok). The Sharks apparently are early in the rotation, so expect to hear a lot of similar talk in the coming weeks.
The league is scheduled to do a big dog-and-pony show next month at the All-Star Game regarding its new jerseys and socks. In advance, each team will work out once with the new gear; players are miked for their reactions during practice and asked about their impressions afterward. According to The Plan, these opinions will then be taken into account and the uniforms adjusted, with the full rollout for the 2007-08 season. But you have to wonder, if the big debut is a month away, how many alterations can be made.
I can tell you the league is very, VERY nervous about the reaction. The suits from CCM flipped out a little bit when they realized reporters were actually listening to them talk to players five feet away in an open locker room. And standing five feet away from me, the leader of the R&D team didn’t want to talk about the changes, instead relaying answers to specific questions through a Sharks spokesman (who was standing three feet away from me, so I guess he truly was the middleman).
The double-knit polyester is being replaced by a moisture-wicking fabric, hardly an uncommon switch in the athletic world. They’re also making everything tighter.
The reasons are twofold: performance and protection.
“These are to add protection?” Jonathan Cheechoo said.
Yeah. Apparently the tighter fit holds pads into place better.
“It does do that,” Cheechoo said. “I’ll give it that. But it also gives opponents a bird’s-eye view of where your equipment stops.”
His point: For players who are injured, opponents will essentially see an MRI of the body and know exactly which spot is most vulnerable. The sweaters hide a lot of that, particularly in the playoffs.
As for performance, players will feel lighter because the water washes away instead of being absorbed. Nice for a runner. For a hockey player?
“If it gets rid of water, great, but where does the water go?” Kyle McLaren asks. “If it’s going to go down to my gloves and skates, that’s too much water.”
Now, McLaren is a large man. One of the NHL’s biggest, but not the biggest. So it’s kind of interesting that he says the jersey fit OK but he wouldn’t want to go any smaller. And what if he wanted to go a size bigger? … Uh, problem. There isn’t a size bigger. Apparently, in the faster, sleeker NHL, the size limit is 6-foot-5, 230 pounds.
It’s gotta be the … socks?
McLaren had no opinion about the socks because he wouldn’t wear them. Smith said they’re tighter but not bothersome; the biggest problem is the extra sliding once you hit the ice. I’d love to hear his reaction after wearing the stuff for three or five or seven days in a row; betcha that tightness would become a bigger problem.
Performance. Protection. How about physiques?
What the company — through the Sharks over that insurmountable five-foot cone of silence – didn’t cite as a reason was the marketing aspect. But some observers think the move toward tighter fits is meant to show off players’ bodies. It isn’t a totally irrational thought, since probably not many people know how closely Patrick Marleau resembles your basic NFL middle linebacker.
So let’s leave it to free spirit Smith, who was wearing one of the microphones and whose feedback will probably leave CCM’s ears ringing.
“When I watch Modano skating down the ice and his jersey is flowing in the wind, that’s what I want to see,” Smith said.
At the end of the day, players were asked to leave their jerseys hanging in the stalls.
“I’ll hang it right in the garbage,” Smith said.
If you love the traditional sweater, buy one this season.
I guess Chara and Hal Gill are going out topless.
Todd Bertuzzi is under the height limit, but I'm sure he's about 245 lbs.
NHL weighs major changes
22/12/2006 1:12:38 PM
The NHL is considering realigning the league and reducing the number of divisions from six to four, according to a report.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman met with six club executives representing the six current NHL divisions earlier this week.
Chuck Burton/Canadian Press
TSN analyst Bob McKenzie said the league has asked its governors to consider the changes. If there's enough support, the changes could be approved next month and take effect next season.
According to TSN, the changes are as follows:
A reduction in the number of divisions from six to four. There would still be an Eastern Conference and a Western Conference, but there were would one eight-team division and one seven-team division in each conference.
The top two teams in each division would be guaranteed the top four playoff seeds within the conference, with four wild card playoff berths going to the teams with the next-highest point totals.
The four new divisions would be configured primarily along the lines of time zones to reduce travel and boost television ratings.
Other changes include:
- The current Northeast Division (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo and Boston) would remain intact and add two other teams to form a seven-team division.
- The current Atlantic Division (the three New York area teams plus Philadelphia) would be melded together with four teams from the current Southeast Division (all but one of Washington, Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Florida).
- The eight-team division in the Western Conference would feature all teams in Pacific or Mountain time zones (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Colorado and Phoenix).
- The seven-team division in the Western Conference would feature teams that are in either the Central or Eastern time zones.
- The uneven number of teams in the divisions would make the schedule more complicated but each team would face off against its division rivals six times each, its conference rivals either three or four times each and non-conference teams once each.
Ugh, trying to get my head round this new scheduling idea.
I think the problems this season for me haven't been in playing divisional rivals eight times, but in playing them in such quick succession.
No offense to the Bruins, but the Leaf nation was sick of the sight of them a few weeks back when we played four or five times in as many weeks, and I'm sure the feeling was mututal.
Thank heavens for my Centre Ice package, at least I get a choice of games.
If you don't have it and live in the Leafs region you're stuck.
I saw a couple of episodes of this last night.Originally Posted by canadian_angel;2180015;
Tim Connolly (Sabres) and Maxime Talbot (Pens) got through to the next round. Dustin Penner and Mark Bergevin were knocked out.
In the next heat, Brad May and Donald Brashear got through in first and second (first gets $60,000 in chips for round 2, second gets $40,000), Sean Avery and Scott Walker were knocked out.
Tie Domi and Georges Laraques will be playing in one of the heats this weekend. There's three hours of this tournament on TSN early Sunday afternoon.
Craig Rivet and Sheldon Souray will be playing in the other heat.
I can't recall who the other four players are.
All participants get $5000 towards the charity of their choice and the winenr gets $20,000.
Same feelings here (but the outcome was pretty good, sorry Leaf fans ). I'd love to see more of the west coast teams instead of what seems like the same 5 over and over again.Originally Posted by fluff;2185705;
That's how we feel out west too. In Edmonton we still haven't seen Crosby play and just got a chance to see Ovechikn this season. Under the current schedule Eastern teams only come out west every 3 years which is too long.
Remember: Mentioning Jesus in your speech: small government. Doing what Jesus asked: big government - Stephen Colbert
Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can usually shut the b*tch up with cookies. (Unknown)
That's why I'm so pleased we have Centre Ice.
We get to see pretty much whoever we want whenever we want and if the time zone difference means the game finishes too late we tape it if we're that interested.
I'm sure they could work out something whereby everyone plays everyone at least once each year.
The GM's weren't in favour of a change when they met the other month though.
All the big names are in the East at the moment.
Yeah, I enjoyed the outcome of that. But I think they do need to do a better job not scheduling us to see the Leafs so many times in a short amount of time. We've already played the Leafs 5 times because of the stretch in November (and that will be 7 times by Jan 4th). I really hope they work something out so that each team plays each other at least once. Although the Bruins don't mind playing the Leafs and Sens right now.Originally Posted by JR.;2186064;
Last edited by pineapple; 12-23-2006 at 11:17 PM.
Ducks' Pronger breaks foot
Anaheim defenceman Chris Pronger broke his left foot Sunday night during the Ducks' 4-2 loss at Minnesota.
Pronger was injured when he blocked a shot by Wild forward Mark Parrish in the first period.
"It wasn't really that hard of a shot. It just catches you on the right spot and there's not much padding down there," said Pronger, who tried briefly to skate after the shot. "Every time I went to push off, it didn't feel very good."
Ducks officials said the all-star defenceman will fly back to Anaheim to meet with team doctors. He left the arena wearing a protective boot on his left foot.
Pronger was acquired by the Ducks in the off-season after scoring 21 points in last spring's playoffs to lead the Edmonton Oilers on a surprise run to the Stanley Cup final.
Pronger, 32, leads all NHL defencemen this season with 40 points in 41 games, helping the Ducks to the league's best record.
Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly